- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2002

For the next two months, Maryland State Trooper Brian Blocher will be out of work and wearing a brace to protect the neck fracture he suffered while doing his job a casualty in the police war against road rage.
But that wound and another injury a deep gash on his forehead that necessitated more than 20 stitches will not dim the second-year trooper's determination to return to the road.
"I just want to get in there and get going again," the 26-year-old said on Saturday afternoon during an interview at his home.
Trooper Blocher suffered the neck, forehead and other injuries Thursday night when his vehicle was rear-ended in the far-left shoulder of Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg by an aggressive driver whom police had been tracking, authorities said.
The accident mangled the driver's side of the police car, leaving the door crushed shut against a highway barrier. Trooper Blocher crawled across the front seat, through the passenger door and, bleeding profusely, handcuffed the driver who struck him.
"I didn't want him to get away," he said. "Sometimes they flee the scene if they know they've done something wrong."
Kenneth Paul Kaminsky, 32, of Springfield later was charged with aggressive driving, reckless driving, negligent driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said.
The conscious-altering substance Mr. Kaminsky used is not yet known, police said.
The incident began when state police at the Rockville barrack received several reports of an aggressive driver on the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway near the American Legion Bridge.
Police said the driver continued around the Capital Beltway and headed north on I-270, where Trooper Blocher had been assigned to wait and watch for a silver 2002 Mercury Cougar.
He said he saw in his mirrors the suspect car approaching in the fast lane.
It struck a blue Monte Carlo, whose driver suffered a broken arm, and veered into the Jersey wall of the far-left shoulder directly toward Trooper Blocher.
"I put it in 'drive' and tried to take off," he said.
The Cougar, up on its right wheels, was moving too fast to avoid, the trooper said.
"Stuff started flying around in the car," he said.
Trooper Blocher said he believes the left side of his forehead was torn by the car's metal shotgun rack above his head. The impact had torn his seat loose from the car's frame, he said.
"I remember going up in the air and hitting something hard, I just don't know exactly what it was," he said.
"It was something jagged and serrated. It wasn't a clean cut."
He tried using his radio, but it was dead, another victim of the crash.
Two strangers helped Trooper Blocher open the cruiser's passenger door.
"I'd like to thank them for what they did, whoever they are," Trooper Blocher said.
Traffic had stopped and Trooper Blocher saw his suspect crying in the middle of the highway.
"He didn't resist. I don't think he was hurt," he said.
"I asked him why he was driving like such an idiot."
A fellow state trooper took Mr. Kaminsky into custody, and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue arrived.
Trooper Blocher was wrapped in gauze before a state police helicopter flew him to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where a CT scan showed his neck was fractured.
Trooper Blocher's wife, Sarah, said a colleague of her husband's drove her to the Baltimore hospital, where she was joined by his parents and younger brother, who also is a state trooper.
Trooper Blocher was fitted with the brace, admitted overnight and discharged from the facility early Friday afternoon.
His doctors have told him he cannot drive or do any heavy lifting. But what he already misses most is he won't be able to work for about two months.
"There's so much personal satisfaction in this job," he said. "I love to put the uniform on."

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